News & Articles: Water Market

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In Chesapeake Bay, Simple Targets Lead to Compound Results

The Green New Deal has won praise for highlighting the upside of meeting the climate challenge, but critics say cap-and-trade will deliver the same benefits without the confusion. In the Chesapeake Bay, a similar debate is playing out on water pollution, and a simple cap seems to support multiple benefits.

How Antonin Scalia Launched Trump’s Stealth Attack on Clean Water

The President of the United States can’t repeal a law like the Clean Water Act, but the Trump Administration is going ahead with plans to undermine the CWA by severely limiting the long-evolving rules that underpin it. It’s the latest episode of a saga that we have been covering since early last year.

Incorporating Green Infrastructure into Our Cities

Our forests, wetlands, urban green spaces, and sustainably-managed farms and ranches provide clean and reliable water for most of the world’s urbanites, yet they are often treated as little more than scenic intervals between cities. To save them, we should view them as real assets, just as valuable as our roads, dams, levees, and wastewater treatment plants, argues Jan Cassen of the Forest Trends Water Initiative.

From the Blog
A Dispatch from Peru for World Water Day

The people of Peru have been sustainably managing their water for millennia, with infrastructure projects that surpass even the better-known aqueducts of ancient Rome. World Water Day is especially critical in the desert city of Lima.

Conserve to Build: Protecting Ecosystems to Ensure Water Supplies in Peru

Run out of water? Is it possible for a source of water to just dry up, or for water supplies for a city to be affected in quantity or quality to the point of being unusable for human consumption? Could a river, a lake, or a puquial that had existed for as long as anyone could remember just disappear? Unfortunately, it can happen. Here’s how to fix it.

How (And Where) Market Mechanisms Can Accelerate Waterway Recovery

17 October 2018 | Twenty years ago, Oregon’s Willamette River was an unswimmable cocktail of 64 deadly chemicals, while the Chesapeake Bay was suffocating under a blanket of algae fed by fertilizer running off of farms spread across six US states. Governments in both regions – and, indeed, across the United States – vowed to […]

When It Comes to Natural Climate Solutions, We Have an Unexpected Ally: The Water Sector

17 Sept 2018 | The Global Climate Action Summit wrapped up in San Francisco last week, and what a week it was. A coalition of nine foundations announced commitments totaling $459 million to conserve forests around the world and recognize the land rights of the indigenous and traditional communities who manage them. California released the groundwork […]

With Pruitt And Kennedy Gone, What Happens To The Clean Water Rule?

US Environmental Protection Agency boss Scott Pruitt is gone, replaced by an oil industry lobbyist named Andrew Wheeler. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will soon be gone as well — to be replaced, no doubt, by someone less environmentally conscious. Here’s why that’s bad news for US waterways.

Waters Of The United States
Part Four: Writing The New Rule

The Trump administration wants to “repeal and replace” a rule for defining which waterways are and are not protected by the Clean Water Act, and environmentalists say Trump’s proposal would leave 80 percent of all US waters unprotected. In this fourth installment of a five-part series, we see how the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers forged the current rule over four arduous years.

Waters Of The United States
Part Two: Wetlands In The Clean Water Act

Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972, but it was slowly amended and refined. By 2000, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency had settled on clear definitions of what constitutes “waters of the United States”. Not everyone, however, agreed with them.

Why Are 11 US States Suing The EPA And Army Corps Over Water Quality?

Last week, New York Attorney General Eric Scheiderman filed suit against the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to block the Trump administration’s suspension of guidance on clean water. In this three-part series, we examine the convoluted history of water regulation in the United States

How The Restoration Economy Can Help Us Withstand The Next Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey reminded us just how vulnerable low-lying cities like Houston are in a climate-changed world – especially when we degrade the living ecosystems that regulate floods and absorb greenhouse gasses. Fortunately, we have plenty of tools we can use to develop the “green infrastructure” needed to help us navigate the new reality of life in the Anthropocene.

How Impact Investors Help Small Fishermen Stay Afloat

Impact investors have poured more than $8 billion into projects that support sustainable land management, and now more money is also finding its way into sustainable fishing. This month, a new partnership providing equity to sustainable small-scale fishing-related enterprises in Philippines and Indonesia, has made its first investment in a Filipino fishing processing and exporting group.

Can Europe Tap The Private Sector To Protect Its Environment?

The European Commission has set some of the most ambitions environmental targets on the planet, but states have struggled to achieve them. Fortunately, the Commission and member states have also created an impressive set of mechanisms for getting users and polluters to pay for restoration. Now they just have to teach people to use them.

As Costs Rise, Green Infrastructure Looks Better And Better

Addressing stormwater runoff and other water-related challenges is getting insanely expensive, which is why cost-effective green interventions are on the rise. This month’s Water Log features several efforts aiming to showcase innovative and nature-based water financing ideas. It also highlights a new project aiding nature-based businesses and a potential nutrient market in California’s East Bay.

When Your Day Job Is Restoring Streams And Saving Species

More than 220,000 Americans work in the $25 billion Restoration Economy, but few outside the sector understand how it works. Here’s how one Texas rancher tapped environmental finance to pay off debt from the expansion of his ranch and revive a degraded river that runs through it.

How Nature-Based Systems Can Slash Wastewater This World Water Day

Contaminated water has long been part of every urban area’s growing pains, and it’s a major health hazard in rapidly industrializing parts of the developing world, which is why it’s the theme of this year’s World Water Day. Here’s how people are using nature-based solutions to manage it.

Lima Kicks Off Development Of 30-Year Green Infrastructure Plan

In 2015, the Peruvian capital of Lima made a significant financial commitment to restore the region’s natural infrastructure to help manage its many water woes. Committing is one thing, however, deploying the finance and implementing nature based projects is quite another. To help them figure out how this should work, Lima’s water utility continues to enlist help and is creating a first-of-its-kind master plan for green infrastructure.

Environmental Rollback Could Kill 220,000 Jobs And Eradicate Dozens of Species

President Donald Trump and many Congressional Republicans say they’ll create jobs by rolling back environmental regulation, but their current trajectory could have the opposite effect: killing more than 220,000 jobs while eradicating endangered species, poisoning water, and accelerating climate change. There is, however, a proven way to reduce regulations without hurting jobs or the environment.

Conservationists Embrace New Environmental Tool: Water Leasing

Farms have long swapped water rights among themselves or with urban areas, but new research out last month reveals conservationists are now leveraging these tools for environmental purposes – such as leasing irrigation rights but using the water to replenish the watershed to restore habitat for endangered species and help secure clean water for communities.

2016: The World Learns The Value Of Water

As drought, flooding and pollution made headlines year-round in 2016, some experts and organization pushed for a return to the basics, solutions that mimicked nature or protected water at its source, while also developing innovative new finance models to fund the mounting costs water management requires.

Close To $25 Billion Spent To Secure Green Infrastructure Worldwide In 2015

As the global water crisis mounts, countries, cities and businesses funneled billions of dollars into market-based investments that conserve and restore forests, mangroves, wetlands and grasslands to secure reliable and clean water, says Ecosystem Marketplace’s latest report tracking watershed investments, released today.

Is this Man’s ‘Nutrient Farm’ the Mitigation Bank of Tomorrow?

Veteran Chicago hydrologist Don Hey has been arguing for decades that his region could slash its water control costs by taking better care of swamps and floodplains. Local politicians are finally listening – and supporting him on a massive market-based wetland restoration effort that could help ratchet up the scale of mitigation banking across the United States.

Register Now: Limited Slots For Thursday Water Webinar

In China, Peru, the United States and elsewhere, nature-based interventions to manage water supplies is on the rise, and governments, companies and water providers are establishing some innovative ways to finance it. Ecosystem Marketplace’s latest State of Watershed Investment report tracks global payments for green infrastructure for water, and report authors will present key findings during a December 15th launch webinar.

Fixing Water By Fixing Forests: Building Successful Watershed Investment Programs In The US

Watershed investment programs can reduce the costs of managing water while delivering community benefits but they’re underused because mobilizing support is difficult and funding can be hard to come by. The World Resources Institute is attempting to ease the burden with a new one-stop resource that offers detailed guidance on what it takes to create a successful watershed investment program.

Corporates Pledge To Reduce Impacts At World Water Week, But How?

More and more companies are acknowledging that they depend on reliable supplies of clean water just as much as the rest of us do, and a few dozen have promised to make sure they’re replenishing the aquifers and waterways that sustain them. Unfortunately, only a handful have taken meaningful steps towards doing so. Here’s a look at some of the winners, and what we can learn from them.

New Investment Model Uses Water Markets And Impact Investors To Restore Nature

When the myriad players in a single watershed start jockeying for water rights, nature is often left out resulting in degraded ecosystems and species decline. But The Nature Conservancy says innovative impact investing in water markets can shift water back to the environment while still delivering benefits to farms and people.

New School Will Teach The Ways Of The Water Fund In Ecuador

Nature and Culture International is establishing Ecuador’s first water school, an institution created to train municipal water workers in the skills required to join and administer a water fund. The water fund model continues to experience success in managing Latin America’s stressed water resources and the school is meant to help scale up its use.

Ecosystem Services in the New York City Watershed

Nine years ago, New York City launched a revolutionary project to protect its drinking water by protecting the ecosystem services of its watershed. Ecosystem Marketplace checks up on the most famous ecosystem services project in the world.

Now Collecting Data For The Watershed Investments 2016 Report

March was a big month for water stewardship as consumer-facing companies made commitments to watershed health and natural infrastructure. Meanwhile, the Ecosystem Marketplace water team is collecting data for its State of Watershed Investments 2016 report, due out this fall, and encouraging green infrastructure and watershed protection projects to complete the water survey by May 13.

This Week In Water: You Gotta Accentuate The Positive

The World Economic Forum may have once again ranked water as one of the top threats facing society but practitioners and thought leaders don’t appear discouraged. Instead they’re focusing on potential and innovative solutions – developing water quality trading markets in waterways struggling under pollution and engaging in partnerships with unlikely stakeholders, like insurance companies.

Multi-State Water Program Hopes To Stand On Its Own Two Feet In 2016

The Ohio River Basin Trading Project is the largest water-quality-trading program in the United States, but it’s still dependent on the generosity of donors for survival. This year, it aims to build its base of paying customers with a multi-pronged strategy that includes videos and impact investors.

2015: A Year Of Water Woes And Green Infrastructure Solutions

Climate change has disrupted the world’s water systems, and a handful of governments and companies have responded with funding for nature-based solutions that support healthy watersheds and good water management. We’ll need a lot more than a handful to get the job done, but 2015 offered some promising potential.

New DOI Investment Center Seeks To Water The Thirsty West

Amid the West’s worst drought in recorded history, the U.S. Department of the Interior launched a new center this week that aims to spark impact investments in water infrastructure and better coordination across states. The era of the Hoover Dam is over, clearly, but what exactly the water infrastructure of the future will look like is still an unfolding story.

This Week In Water: Peru’s Groundbreaking Yet Old-School Shift To Green Infrastructure

Peru is searching for new solutions to its water woes by looking back 1,000 years to pre-Incan mountain canals that absorb water during the wet season so it trickles down during dry months. The recent discovery is a major driver in the government’s decision to funnel $26 million of Lima’s water fees into green infrastructure programs.

The Inside Story Of Peru’s Shift To Green Infrastructure

Lima made headlines this year when it announced it was restoring pre-Incan canals high in the Andes to address its water shortage. That, however, is just one small part of a nationwide shift towards “green infrastructure” that blends the natural ecosystem of the high Andes with man-made technologies old and new. To make it happen, the country first had to change the way it pays for clean water.

Obama Move Seen Boosting Private Investment In Conservation

Compensatory mitigation markets may be expanding in the US as high level policy guidance from the Department of Interior and the White House, released this month, directs land managing agencies to follow the mitigation hierarchy and scale up private investment in conservation.

Mitigation Banking To Feel Indirect Effect Of Clean Water Rule Injunction

Hours before the Clean Water Rule was due to go into effect, a federal judge in North Dakota issued a temporary injunction that will halt implementation in 13 states. It’s the beginning of a long fight, supporters of the injunction say, and one that will inadvertently cause fluctuating demand for mitigation.

Exploring The Many Facets Of Water Valuation At World Water Week

World Water Week opened this week on August 23 which means sustainable water management is on a lot of minds and on Monday, several attendees attempted to pinpoint the true value of water. They found that valuation of water is on the rise as multiple sectors, including the financial, are seeking to understand its role and risks better.

This Week In Water: A Crisis Of Scarcity Or Mismanagement?

Everything water is on everyone’s mind as this week is World Water Week in Stockholm. There, participants, including Ecosystem Marketplace publisher Forest Trends, explored several water-related issues including water valuation and its impact on resource management. Outside of Stockholm, institutional investors insist giant food producers disclose their water risks.

Rice, Microfinance And Jobs: How Bangladesh Is Saving Its National Fish

By their very nature, fish are slippery and elusive – as are their habitats. That’s why payments for ecosystems services programs are so rare in fisheries management. But in Bangladesh, where fish and fishing are embedded in the national identity, the government has crafted a program that compensates fishers for conservation.

First Person: How 11 Ecuadorian Cities Pooled Their Resources To Support Their Watershed

Six years ago, southern Ecuador’s Regional Water Fund (FORAGUA) began to pool the resources of several municipalities to ensure safe and steady water supplies through sustainable watershed management. In so doing, they created a template for other small cities across the Andes, but that doesn’t mean the work is easy; as Nature and Culture International found when it spearheaded the effort. Here’s what they learned.

This Week In Water: The Art Of The Nutrient Credit Sale

The Electric Power Research Institute (ERPI) moves its water quality trading program in the Ohio River Basin into a new stage with the upcoming public auction of stewardships generated during the first three years of the project. Also, a new framework on catchment-based management for the mining industry offers sector-specific guidance.